New Year's Day part 1 - Meeting the Lieutenant Governor

In Prince Edward Island it is a custom to hold levees on New Year's Day, which the public attend.

Levee: (noun) a formal reception of visitors or guests (as at a royal court)

Being new to the island, we thought it would be interesting to go and see what a levee was like. In fact we went to two, the first being at the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of PEI, in Charlottetown.

There is so much history on Prince Edward Island and this beautiful estate holds an important part in the creation of our country, Canada.

The home is called Government House and was built between 1832 and 1834 as a home for the British monarch's representative.  At that time, Canada did not exist, and Prince Edward Island was a colony of Britain. In 1864, 150 years ago, the father's of Confederation met in Charlottetown to discuss the creation of the country, Canada.

They gathered on the steps of Government House for a photo:

Yesterday, I took a photo of my daughter, Laura standing in this very place:

The house, also known as Fanningbrook, welcomes dignitaries from around the world.  It is beautiful inside, with many portraits, antique furniture and old woodwork.

While we walked through we were entertained by a small orchestra called "The Singing Strings:"
(if you look closely you can see my reflection in the mirror behind them!)

We were presented to The Honourable H. Frank Lewis and his wife Dorothy.  You can see them here Mr. Lewis is on the left, Dorothy is third from left and fourth from the left is the premier of PEI (I'll talk about him in part 2) We were welcomed and wished a Happy New Year by Their Honours.

Just around the corner stood a mountie...

There was hot apple cider and fruit cake served for those who wished some. It was nice to see the beautiful house and feel part of the community.  The province is small and everyone has been very kind and welcoming to us.

This is the view from Government House, which looks out into the Charlottetown Harbour:

We left here and had lunch in the city and then went to another levee.  I'll post about that next time.